Skip to main content

MEDIA RELEASE - Community awaits promise for 'critical life-saving asset'

29 April 2022

Protecting vulnerable communities including the Northern Territory’s biggest remote Indigenous community should be a priority this Federal Election – but right now, it isn’t.


West Arnhem Regional Council Mayor Matthew Ryan wants to see a firm commitment from federal candidates to fund a multipurpose cyclone shelter for the exposed coastal community of Maningrida – located on the far north coast of the Territory. 

For years, Mayor Ryan has joined other community leaders to advocate for a cyclone-rated building which will protect the community of over 3000 residents during catastrophic weather events.


Mayor Ryan has called it an ‘essential life-saving asset’ to a community already facing challenges including poverty, overcrowding of homes and being cut off for months during the wet season.


With Australia facing increasingly frequent and more severe natural disasters, Mayor Ryan said his community has gone through too many ‘near misses’ and have waited long enough for a cyclone shelter which has never been delivered. 

“Right now, we don’t have an adequate space to safely house our population in a crisis, or even have a building which can be used by community and stakeholders for visiting health specialists, all weather sport and recreation programming, large meetings or bush court.” 


“A multiuse centre will save lives and pay for itself, not only by answering community needs in the face of a natural disaster and avoid evacuating our population, but will serve as a community space used every single day.”


West Arnhem Regional Council welcomes the ALP commitment of $5m funding towards a multipurpose cyclone shelter for Maningrida and looks forward to a commitment from the CLP to also match or fully fund this essential infrastructure.

“Surely protecting our most vulnerable through this critical infrastructure is worth committing too?”